Courtney K. Wade, a graduating senior attending Howard University, wants to destroy the stereotypes that dominate the media and to emphasize truth.
Wade said her training in the classroom, at her school biweekly newspaper The Hilltop, a local city weekly, The District Chronicles, have earned her positions as metro reporters for the Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Tribune and the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. Her experiences reporting, writing and editing for these media outlets has constructed a strong foundation of journalism based on accuracy and professionalism, Wade said. She said these experiences give her confidence to report with excellence even in the toughest situations.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism with minors in Afro-American Studies and Spanish in May 2005, Wade plans to earn a master’s degree in socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago or the University of California at Berkeley. She plans to merge the two fields by becoming fluent in Spanish, French and sign language, which will equip her with the skills to travel internationally and report stories that mainstream media routinely skews or overlooks.
"I am driven to shatter the media’s misconceptions of African culture," said Wade, 21.
Ultimately, Wade said she would like to be a gatekeeper at a mainstream media outlet and work to keep the doors of opportunity open for people of color.
"I am concerned about the diversity of today’s newsrooms," she said. "I want them to reflect the societies they serve."